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Editor’s Note: The following is a response to The Soft Side of Regime Change by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett.
In their review of Trita Parsi’s book A Single Role of the Dice, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett take the opportunity to criticize two of my pieces of work, alleging that they and “others” have “thoroughly debunked” my Preliminary Analysis of Iran’s 2009 election results, and that I “demurred on the fraud question” in my more detailed study. The suggestion appears to be that after a year of research I had softened my position or had doubts on the issue of fraud. I consider this a misrepresentation of my views as any reading of the book in question (Crisis of Authority: Iran’s 2009 Presidential Election) would reveal.
For the record, I disagree profoundly that they (or others) have debunked anything in that Preliminary Analysis. The Leveretts are welcome to their opinions but I fear they give themselves too much credit. With regard to their other assertion, my thoroughly referenced 113-page study of the presidential election goes into detail as to the inconsistencies and evidence for fraud and argues, “The actions of the Ahmadinejad government since the 2005 election and after its second ‘victory’ in 2009 all point to fraud having been integral to the landslide victory.” (page 4) I don’t see any ambiguity or ambivalence in that statement.
Ali Ansari is professor of Iranian History at the University of St. Andrews and author of Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Next Great Crisis in the Middle East.
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